TL;DR version: ice cream is not ruined by the offer of additional sprinkles.
First things first: yes, the “Friend Zone” is a thing. It happens when person A is attracted to person B and person B wants to be friends with person A but doesn’t want to get naked with Person A. “Friend Zone” may be a terrible way of saying “unrequited infatuation” but it’s a whole lot better than “Person-who-I-like-but-don’t-want-to-show-my-junk-to Zone”.
Second, there’s an implication that being “just friends” is bad. This is silly. There are loads of people with whom I would love to be just friends (e.g. Felicia Day, John Green, and that girl who went on one date with me and was nice enough to call me back and tell me she didn’t want to date me). This idea that being friends with someone is a poor consolation prize leads to all sorts of misconceptions.
Which leads me to why the Friend Zone needs to die: it’s not the pining for someone, it’s not how unfair it can seem when you get along great with someone and they don’t want to mash their privates against yours, it’s the typical whiny/angry response to being Friend Zoned that leads most people to think that anyone who has been Friend Zoned will be crazy and not interested of being your friend.
When I ask someone out it’s because I like them, and am (or would like to be) good friends with them, and think that it would be nice to try a more intimate and personal relationship with them (also probably privates mashing). It does not mean I’m offering them a choice between letting me see them naked and never speaking to me again. I still like people even if they don’t want to go out with me (though, for the record, telling me you don’t want to go out with me, spending the weekend telling me how terrible your exes are, and then ditching me to go sleep with one of them, is still kind of a dick move).
A lot of the problem is rooted in the typical Friend Zone reaction of becoming mad or clingy. This, in turn, leads people to think that not wanting to go out with someone means they also don’t want to be your friend. So Persons A and B, please stop this crap. And if I am ever Person A to your Person B please know that I would also like to be your friend, even if we don’t end up getting all biblical together.